Accies media team reporter Mark Gillespie was at Pittodrie on Saturday….
Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
on Saturday, 6th March, 2021, kick off 3pm
Aberdeen 0 Hamilton Academical 0
Wednesday’s draw with St Johnstone felt like defeat. Three days later, a draw in the Granite City goes down as a much more positive result. It takes us off the foot of the table with a game in hand over Kilmarnock. It wasn’t pretty at times, but Brian Rice says the result testifies to the commitment of his players.
“Every single player has put his body on the line. We’ve lost two players injured during the game and Hakeem Odoffin’s battled on bandaged up. He’s a warrior, he epitomises everything that’s good about Hamilton”, he commented post-match.
“We had a really tough game on Wednesday night, with such a late goal to deny us victory. It was a wee bit demoralising, so to travel up here and get that performance today speaks volumes about where we are as a club and as a team. For Hamilton to come to Aberdeen at any time and keep a clean sheet is a great achievement.”
“We’re off the bottom and that’s nice. But it doesn’t mean that much at this moment in time. It’s a step in the right direction after a tough few days. Next Saturday is another battle. Livingston beat us convincingly last time at home, but I think we’re a different animal at the moment.”
We made two changes from Wednesday night. Charlie Trafford was on the bench while Bruce Anderson missed out against his parent club. In came Nathan Thomas, back from injury, with Jamie Hamilton returning to the side after injury.
Meanwhile Aberdeen made two changes from last weekend, Hendry and McGeouch replacing MacLennan and Campbell in Derek McInnes’s line up, as they sought to reverse recent form.
The pressure was on both sides for points at both ends of the table. It perhaps explained a cagey start. The hosts have had their problems in front of goal this season and were to regret passing up a hat trick of chances midway through the half.
A first escape for Accies came on 19 minutes, Niall McGinn taking advantage of a mix up to race clear and pick out Kamberi six yards out. The Dons striker couldn’t adjust his feet, Aaron Martin getting the block in. McGinn went for a spectacular overhead from the rebound but Brian Easton was back to clear off the line.
A minute later and Callum Hendry was blasting over from point blank range a minute later after McGinn set up play on the left. We survived again on 23 minutes, Kamberi setting up Hendry in the box, but Odoffin got enough to block the effort wide.
Accies had looked briefly on the ropes, but soon regrouped, stringing some passes together and creating chances of their own. With Scott Martin and Odoffin steadying the midfield, Ross Callachan was able to get forward and continue his recent form. A driving run from the Accies top scorer helped set up David Moyo in the box, but Lewis was able to block, and from Hodson’s rebound.
Nathan Thomas suffered a knock in the build up to the attack, a recurrence of his recent ankle injury, and having to come off. But Accies finished the half on top. Callachan showed his eye for goal again on 42 minutes, Lewis tipping wide a 35 yard howitzer wide as half time approached.
After that flurry of first half chances, for all their possession Aberdeen couldn’t open up a solid looking Accies back four. But for Fulton showing great reactions to deny McGinn from point blank range on 57 minutes, that was about it. Accies held firm, even having a big shout for a penalty after a Scott Martin shot appeared to hit Andy Considine’s hand in the box.
Already a man injured we were digging deep. Odoffin had to be bandaged up for the second half battle after a head knock before we lost skipper Brian Easton to a foot injury on 67 minutes.
Reinforcements from the Accies bench steadied things. Aberdeen looked out of their ideas and we almost caught them napping on 78 minutes, Scott Martin’s low effort blocked after Moyo’s cut back.
Martin blazed another one over late on as the game opened up. The clock slowly ticked down seven minutes’ injury time as we saw out what could be a very valuable point come May.
Although we have had several away wins at Pittodrie in recent years, this was our first league draw there since 3rd December 1988, Eddie Gallagher scoring in a 1-1 draw.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Hoban, Considine, Hendry (McLennan, 64), McGinn (Ruth, 88 ), Taylor (Kennedy, 79), McGeouch, Hayes, Ferguson, Kamberi, McCrorie; Subs Unused:Woods, Logan, Ross, Campbell, Virtanen, MacKenzie,
Bookings: Considine, 64
Accies: Fulton, Odoffin, McMann, Easton (c) (Munro, 68 ), Hamilton, S Martin, A Martin, Moyo (Hughes, 89), Thomas (C Smith, 40), Hodson, Callachan; Subs Unused: Gourlay, Stanger, Stirling, Mimnaugh, Trafford, Winter
Bookings: McMann (90+6)
Referee: Bobby Madden; Assistants: Calum Spence and Stuart Stevenson; 4th Official: Matthew MacDermid